Martin Paterson's header gave Northern Ireland a first victory over Russia 1-0, as the visitors' World Cup qualification hopes were dented.
The diminutive striker combined well with Niall McGinn throughout proceedings but the pair's efforts were rewarded with 43 minutes on the clock when Paterson thumped the ball home.
That was enough to give Northern Ireland fans a first victory to celebrate since August 2011, when they ran out 4-0 winners over minnows Faroe Islands, while it also marked manager Michael O'Neill's first in charge.
For Russia, however, it was a huge opportunity missed to return to the top of their group above rivals Portugal.
With Jonny Evans and Kyle Lafferty both absent through injury or illness, and Chris Brunt suspended, Northern Ireland were forced to name goalkeeping coach Maik Taylor among the substitutes just to fill the bench.
Russia boss Fabio Capello, meanwhile, named only 30-year-old Aleksandr Kerzhakov up front as part of a line-up that included six in midfield.
Northern Ireland started brightly, with Aberdeen playmaker McGinn firing in two early sighters on goal in the opening couple of minutes - the second of which looped just past Igor Akinfeev's left-hand post.
However, Russia fought back and at the other end West Brom's Gareth McAuley was forced to snuff out the threat from Alan Dzagoev as he raced in on goal with a well-timed challenge.
The hosts’ early attacking pressure in the opening quarter soon subsided, and eventually Russia's quality began to tell as they got a real foothold in the game.
Russian winger Vladimir Bystrov linked well down the right with Dzagoev, causing young left-back Shane Ferguson problems.
Then, in the 34th minute, the impressive Dzagoev created space for striker Kerzakhov, but the Zenit man took too long to get his shot away and McAuley cleared up.
As half-time neared, the hosts certainly did not seem to be missing defender Chris Baird at the back - the 31-year-old having been overlooked for the squad as he is currently without a club.
And despite Russia's attacking intent, it was Northern Ireland who finished the half ahead.
Derby County's Jamie Ward had already gone close when he sent a dipping 25-yard shot onto the post after being sent through by a quick free-kick from skipper Steve Davis.
And two minutes before the break Windsor Park was jumping.
McGinn was the architect when he whipped in cross from deep and Huddersfield Town's Paterson leapt well above his man to head strongly into the corner - a remarkable feat considering that the 26-year-old was one of the smallest players on the pitch.
For the second period, Cappello rung the changes as he tried to get Russia back into the contest.
The Italian brought on Artem Dzyuba and Denis Cheryshev, although the latter was forced off with an injury after just six minutes.
But Northern Ireland still probed for a second goal, and they nearly managed it close to the hour mark only to be denied by the assistant referee’s flag.
Again it was Paterson with his head who found the net via a McAuley knockdown, but the forward was adjudged to be just offside. TV replays proved the call to be correct and showed that the striker had strayed fractionally off.
The aerial threat again posed Russia problems 15 minutes later when Ferguson pushed down the left flank, lifting another high ball into the box, and this time Akinfeev flapped at the delivery.
The ensuing scramble for the loose ball saw Paterson and Russian defender Vasiliy Berezutskiy booked.
The tenacity shown by Paterson was typical of the Irish, as they fought for everything going into the final 10 minutes.
And they were rarely tested in the closing stages as Windsor Park erupted at the whistle.
|Egypt v Kenya: Williams era begins in Aswan|
|Pardew: Newcastle move key to Colback call-up|
|Van Gaal had not expected Rojo delay|
|Alonso: Kroos arrival not a factor|
|McGregor commits to Celtic|
|McGregor commits to Celtic|
|Low picks 18 World Cup winners for final rematch|
|Wenger coy over new signings|
|Redknapp ready to sign new QPR deal|
|Palace hand Bolasie new deal, table Traore bid|
|Alonso finalises move to Bayern Munich|
|Qualification a ´big step´ for Saint-Etienne|
|Thohir coy on Lavezzi talk|
|Faurlin injury curse strikes again|
|PSG president confident after Champions League draw|
|Hull closing on Hernandez deal|
|Warnock held Palace talks last year|
|Slomka cools Holtby talk|
|Slomka cools Holtby talk|
|Marotta confident of Juventus success|
|Marotta confident of Juventus success|
|Aguirre: New era for Japanese football|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Olimpia go top|
|Torino v Inter: Visitors out to maintain dominance|
|Copa Sudamericana Review: Penarol cruise into second round, Cesar Vallejo do it tough|
|Costa Rican Primera Division Review: Uruguay remain winless|
|Ronaldo backs Di Maria to shine at United|
|Argentine Primera Division Review: Velez stay perfect, Sanchez inspires River|
|Copa do Brasil Review: Cruzeiro win big, Corinthians lose|
|Barca wary of ´difficult´ opponents|
|Ronaldo confident after Champions League draw|
|´Not an easy´ draw for Dortmund|
|Bruce laments ´worst´ elimination|
|UEFA Europa League Play-Off Review: Lyon and Sociedad dumped out, Inter win big|
|Robinson joins QPR|
|Mazzarri lauds Kovacic development|
|Townsend eager to get back to full fitness|
|Tottenham 3 AEL 0 (agg 5-1): Spurs cruise into Europa League proper|
|Leicester complete sensational Cambiasso swoop|
|Del Piero confirms move to Indian Super League|
|Hull City 2 Lokeren 1 (agg 2-2): Lokeren progress despite Brady brace|
|Benatia excited to face Roma|
|Inter 6 Stjarnan 0 (agg 9-0): Kovacic treble sees hosts cruise through|
|Championship Preview: Redfearn in charge for Bolton clash, Magath eyes first league win|
|Newcastle United v Crystal Palace: Warnock kicks off second Palace stint|
|Atletico Madrid v Eibar: Champions seek first win|
|Rodgers excited about ´special´ draw|
|Manchester City v Stoke City: Pellegrini could chop and change|
|Warnock has no issues with Puncheon|
|Sacked Hockaday´s tenure at Leeds lasts just six games|
|Palace re-sign Zaha on loan|
|Burnley v Manchester United: Van Gaal hoping to kickstart recovery|
|Ronaldo named Europe´s best|
|Swansea City v West Brom: Monk wants Liberty fortress|
|Cameroon confident DR Congo clash will go ahead|
|West Ham v Southampton: Koeman anticipating physical West Ham challenge|
|Hughes expecting tough City test|
|Holders Real set for Liverpool test|
|Monk targeting two more additions|
|Koeman keen for ´difficult´ transfer window to end|
|Van Basten absent due to health issues|
|League Two Preview: Morecambe chase another win, giant-killers back in action|
|Irvine eyeing another winger|
|Van Gaal confirms more signings to come|
|Barca are constantly improving, says Rakitic|
|Di Maria is not ´the miracle´, says Van Gaal|
|Torres Milan move ´a real possibility´|
|Juventus v Chievo: Allegri begins quest to replicate Conte success|
|League One Preview: MK Dons and Orient aim to follow up historic wins|
|Schalke v Bayern Munich: Benatia in line for debut|
|Pirlo blow for Juve|
|Napoli defender Ghoulam suffers fractured arm|
|QPR v Sunderland: Redknapp desperate for points|
|Everton v Chelsea: Costa absence could prove costly|
|Deschamps makes two changes to France squad|
|Warnock excited by Palace challenge|
|Lambert: Delph deserves England call-up|
|Aguirre names five uncapped players in Japan squad|
|Ki signs new four-year Swansea deal|
|CSL Preview: Lippi returns to dugout, Beijing Guoan host rock-bottom Harbin Yiteng|
|J.League Preview: Yoshida out to keep pressure on Urawa|
|Chambers, Delph, Colback win England call-ups|
|Rooney named new England captain|
|Costa in doubt for Everton trip|
|Ross County sack Adams|
|Platini wants more UEFA representatives at World Cup|
|Allardyce hints at big-name signing|
|Platini will not challenge Blatter for FIFA presidency|
|Bruce convinced of qualification|
|Alonso set to swap Madrid for Munich|
|Pochettino to use MK Dons as an example|
|Champions League difficult for Arsenal - Bilic|
|Redknapp takes aim at ´really poor´ QPR|
|MLS Preview: Timbers braced for ´massive´ clash in Vancouver|
|Los Angeles Galaxy 4 DC United 1: Arena´s side show quality|
|Copa Sudamericana Review: River Plate, Libertad among teams to progress|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Pachuca in seventh heaven, Leon held|
|LDU Quito 3 Deportivo Quito 0: Hosts earn bragging rights against rivals|
|Johnson calm over future|
|Kiessling hails Leverkusen|
|Benitez: Mistakes cost Napoli Champions League spot|
|K. League Preview: Seoul eyeing winning streak|
|Liga MX Preview: Monterrey looking to build momentum|
|Valverde hails ´historic day´ for Bilbao|
|UEFA Champions League Review: Mixed results for Europe´s big guns, Moti the hero for Ludogorets|
|Atletico announce Velazquez capture|
|Giroud set for lengthy absence - Wenger|
|Holders City handed home clash with Wednesday|
|La Liga Preview: Saul not worried by Simeone absence, Barca face tough Villarreal test|
|Eto´o retires from Cameroon duty|
|Aston Villa 0 Leyton Orient 1: Late Vincelot winner sends underdogs through|
|Birmingham City 0 Sunderland 3: Late strikes stun hosts|
|Arsenal 1 Besiktas 0 (1-0 agg): Alexis strike takes Wenger´s men through|
|Stoke City 3 Portsmouth 0: Walters brace sees hosts into League Cup third round|
|Burton Albion 1 QPR 0: Late strike seals upset for fourth-tier hosts|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Bordeaux look to maintain 100 per cent start|
|Dunga: No one guaranteed a place in Brazil squad|
|Serie A Preview: Juve´s Allegri era starts at Chievo|
|Mazzarri calls for professional Inter|
|Utrecht swoop for Peterson|
|Deeney extends Watford stay|
|Alonso calls time on international career|
|Bundesliga Preview: Schalke captain Howedes issues rallying cry, Leverkusen face Hertha|
|Fazio joins Spurs from Sevilla|
|Warnock will control transfers - Parish|
|Pochettino wants Soldado and Townsend to stay at Spurs|
|Augsburg v Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller returns for wobbling visitors|
|Celtic complete Wakaso deal|
|Seoul 0 Pohang Steelers 0 (aet, 3-0 on penalties): Yu heroics send Seoul through|
|Guangzhou Evergrande 2 Western Sydney Wanderers 1: Wanderers squeeze through on away goals|
|I´m the future, Benatia´s the past - Manolas|
|Osotspa 3 Chiangrai United 3: Visitors secure point with late rally|
|Israel versus Belgium fixture postponed|
|Fernandes reveals Redknapp contract talks|
|Warnock makes Palace return|
|Eto´o grateful to Mourinho|
|Maiga loaned to Metz|
|Pearson rues ´poor´ Leicester display|
|Bruce: Rhodes deal dead and buried|
|Balotelli set to face Tottenham|
|Di Maria wanted Real stay|
|Dyche wary of inflated transfer market|
|Celtic didn´t deserve Champions League, concedes Deila|
|Game of two halves for Koeman|
|Allardyce hails ´inspired´ Howard|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Red Bulls up and running, Rodriguez stars for Saprissa|
|Copa Sudamericana Review: Gimenez double helps Emelec through|
|Eredivisie Preview: Guardado set for PSV bow, Ajax eye recovery|
|Van Gaal ´not shocked´ by Dons defeat|
|Deila: Celtic deserved Champions League exit|
|Barca agree deal for Pereira|
|Lopetegui lauds Porto progression|
|League Cup Review: United hammered by MK Dons, West Ham lose on penalties|
|West Brom 1 Oxford United 1 (aet, 7-6 on penalties): Hosts avoid cup shock|
|Manchester United win ´something dreams are made of´ - Robinson|
|UEFA Champions League Review: Celtic out again, Porto safely through|